Greetings Flight Report community and thanks for stopping by. I have been catching up on reports of trips made last year and this series will be exactly that. This series of flights was special for several reasons. First, the timing. My family was expecting a new member in July of 2016 so this window of time was my last chance to enjoy some flying for a while. Second, as a "last hurrah", it was an all points on deck sort of affair where I simply pooled every point currency I had available and sought to exhaust them into a grand adventure. Through the luck of my timing I beat the devaluation cutoff of both AA and Etihad and Alaska and Emirates. Finally the trip was loosely based around A380. The first class cabins on these machines are nothing short of spectacular so let's have a comparison.
Carrier, route, equipment, class, lounge, and procurement method:
A blissful day of walking, sweating, and eating I return to Changi T1 via taxi. A chance to cool off and compose myself in the air conditioning.
Emirates operates out of T1.
As it was hours before departure there was not real crowds at check in. Ek operates enough flights here to have staff at the counters at most hours of the day and night. Check in was fast and efficient. I was informed that both the Emirates and Qantas lounges were at my disposal.
This feature in T1 was new to me. It's a giant, interactive, digital…tree. You can pose for a picture at one of the cameras and you will be projected up on the screen(s). You may also input messages. I added my ugly mug to the mix.
While Changi is a place I can just wonder in a daze and stare at the various features I need to focus on the task at hand. That task is lounge hopping.
Emirates is up first. Easy to spot and a familiar yet dated ambiance.
The lounge is very spacious with a fantastic ramp view to the west and an enchanting sunset. There is a great variety of seating options.
The heat and humidity of Singapore can make for a powerful thirst so some liquid refreshment was the first task of my visit. The Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label is a perfectly respectable Business Class lounge Champagne. This is the "price" of combining the F and J lounges. We all get J amenities. The stemware selection was thorough.
A recon of the food offerings is in order. Both hot and cold dishes are available with good variety. The EK signature round buffet is present.
I enjoy the crayfish with a beautiful view.
Having a good feel of what EK has on offer here at Changi let's go visit their new besties from down under.
I am kindly welcomed in and one of the first features you encounter is the large concrete bar. Not only is the bar staffed by a well trained barman but the selection is above passable. An Australian Sparkling Wine was on offer in lieu of Champagne and it was well chilled and easy to drink.
The lounge was sparsely populated at this time so picture taking was easier. It's a massive space. The buffet is beautifully presented and stocked with a variety of hearty salads and hot items.
There is also an a la carte menu of which I avail myself. The Hokkien Mee is a tasty and well plated dish. It's a lighter version than the ubiquitous dish you will encounter in the Hawker Centers.
The dining room is not exactly crowded. Who are they expecting to fill all of this seating? I suppose this space was conceived of and designed before the EK partnership. QF are bringing the A380 back to SIN and on to LHR again so perhaps this lounge will see increased traffic in the near future.
I visit the barman again and request a Negroni. I then take a gander at the varied seating options around the lounge.
The drink is lovely and I follow it with an espresso.
As if the hands on the clock are moving in some kind of alternate hyper dimension it becomes time to leave this lovely facility and begin the long trek home. To gate C26 we go.
There is no wait for security at the gate and boarding starts shortly after my arrival. I surgically make my way to the boarding door and on board. For me there is so much anticipation and excitement boarding an EK 380 flight. I'm always giddy when I have the opportunity to fly F but on EK it's so much more with the on board lounge and showers. The formula for how to spend your time aloft is more complex.
I had initially assigned myself 1K however once on board I request to occupy the empty 2K. The suit is rather cramped and lacking for storage compared to some other products out there and goodness the aesthetics are not to my liking. All of that said I am ecstatic to be on board and to set up camp herein. The amenities are extensive, as are the features.
More suite views.
Upon the offer of something to drink I request ice water and champagne.
The onslaught of amenities including slippers, pajamas, and kit are all contained in a handy tote. I retire to one of the two F shower suites to change.
The pre-departure rituals continue with the offer of Arabic coffee and dates.
Checklists complete and time to blast out of SIN. The aperitif for me will be the 2006 Dom Perignon , served with some crisps.
In my euphoric state I neglected to obtain ample photos of the food and beverage selections. The dine on demand concept is fantastic both in selection and in execution in that all of the items requested were available. My dining plan in EK F is usually to enjoy several small plates rather than a traditional sequence culminating in a main course and dessert. I applied that formula here.
Starting with a tantalizing caviar presentation on the beautifully set table.
I also seek out the seafood starter. It is a simple light affair with salon and marinated prawns. I have to say the service is spot on in terms of flow and attentiveness.
Finally I request the mezze having forgotten that, on EK, this dish could feed the first 3 rows of economy class. It's a lot of food. I marvel at the beautiful array of flavors and textures and the presentation is jaw dropping. I manage but a taste of each item.
Absolutely the embodiment of fat and happy I enjoy a film from the seemingly endless library of content that ICE offers.
A trip to lav ensues and I am distracted by the shiny display of adult beverages in the foyer. Not always a cognac man I become one when traveling EK F.
In the vein of attentive service the FA attempts to woo me with an offer of sweets. I have no need for anything however I find my mouth telling her that the cheese would be lovely. She offers a port or red wine to accompany and I accept the latter.
Not certain I can fit in the bed at this point I request that it be turned down to find out. My cognac and I snuggle up for a blissful nap under the stars.
A few hours of sleep are concluded and I awake the the excitement of the next phase of this flight: the shower spa. I have been fortunate to secure the last slot prior to arrival and I am a grinning fool when availing myself of the novelty of a shower at 38,000 feet. I can't imagine the novelty of the shower spa ever wearing off. It's surreal that there is that much space and comfort built into a commercial airliner. The amenities are borderline overwhelming. I am forced to choose between shampoos that evoke different moods. Energy or relaxation? I have to add that the orchid in the shower had been around too much relaxing shampoo…
A choice of mirors
What products to choose…
Yes, it is a waterfall. The aircraft wasn't quite heavy enough so it was added last minute…
Spacious shower stall, considering it's in an airplane!
Shower concludes over the Arabian Sea.
Custom bath mat.
It's a heavy burden to have to choose how warm you desire the flooring. I toil with this.
Positively refreshed and still slightly uncertain if this is all real I return to my seat to find the final touches of the spa experience.
The cabin is configured for landing and we make a smooth approach and touch down under the cover of darkness.
Singapore - SIN
Dubai - DXB
My apologies about the delay between installments. I vow to do better.
The Ground Service: None to speak of. Deaprting from Changi is painless but here is nothing to elevate the experience to First Class.
The Lounge: Both lounges were a notch or two above a standard Business Class lounge. Neither is a First Class lounge. I have to give the edge to Qantas for the a la carte dining, tended bar, and superior aesthetics. Emirates has the view however...
The Cabin: It's a tight squeeze for a "Suite" product but it ticks all the boxes and then some. The mini-bar is a complete novelty and wasted space on me. Perhaps others use it. I end up taking the contents of the snack basket with me, rather than enjoying on the airplane. I know, tacky, I can't help myself. The bed and bedding are properly plush. I din't make it to the lounge/J class bar, unfortunately. I value that feature and have very much enjoyed my time there in the past.
The Crew: I found a very professional group of flight attendants that indulged all of my requests. We didn't really "bond" like I do with some crews but that was probably my tiredness showing. Anyhow i never wanted for anything and felt like I received first class service.
The Food and Beverage: The food adn beverage program is very good from concept to execution. The Dom and caviar feels so very special to me. The mezze is both a must have in my book and EK do it better than their ME3 peers.
Overall: There is so much excitement for me flying EK F. The A380 is an adult amusement park. I can't help but think that we are right in the middle of a real golden age in commercial aviation and I for one am loving every minute of it.
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